Lymphoma, the cancer of the lymph system, is one of the hardest diseases to deal with. This is because up until now, no cure has been discovered to appease the fear of people at risk in this type of disease. Although there are some preventive measures that are advertised to prevent cancer cells from growing, nothing can stop it fully once it has multiplied and disabled the function of specific organs in the body.
Lymph system refers to a network of interconnected nodes and thin tubes which paves the way for the white blood cells to be carried out in the different parts of the body. White blood cells are very important since these helps fight infections. When these cells are struck by cancer cells, it will affect the way the white blood cells and will lead to its dysfunction.
Lymphoma targets a part of the lymph system and it does not refer to single cancer but to a group of many cancers that are related. As of today, there are about 30 types of lymphoma including “Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” “Malt Lymphoma,” “Cutaneous (Skin) Lymphoma,” “Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma,” “Burkitt Lymphoma,” and “Primary CNS Lymphoma” among others but these types can belong to two different categories including the Hodgkin Disease and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
According to experts, both categories may exhibit the same symptoms that are why the diagnosis and sets of examinations are done. But, the major difference in these two types will be noticeable depending on the person being affected.
Red flags of lymphoma
Lymphoma could be considered as a silent threat because it will take some time before its symptoms occur. And, when they do, they can be so common or “generic” that’s why many people don’t take it so seriously. Unless the symptoms become so noticeable and appear ever so often, that’s the only time when the person suffering from it would consider consulting a doctor.
If you are at risk, say belong to a family whose history include cancer—specifically cancer of the lymph system—then it would be best to undergo a check up once you:
– feel painless lumps in the neck, armpits or groin. Experts say that this is the most common—and at times—the ONLY one that is the symptom of lymphoma. Once you have enlarged nodes, it is the best time to undergo a check up. You can check if your nodes are enlarged when changing clothes or while taking a bath. You can also ask your sister or your partner to check it for you if you feel uncertain about the lumps. However, not all emerged lymph nodes are always signs of lymphoma so it’s better if you consult a physician to be sure.
– drastic weight loss. Once cancer cells attack the lymph system, the person will suddenly lose weight without apparent reason. In fact, once lymphoma remains undetected in the coming months, the person may lose as much as 15 to 20 pounds!
Other symptoms of lymphoma aside from enlarged lymph nodes and drastic weight loss may include continuous fever, sweating excessively specially during night time despite cold weather, and severe itchiness on almost all parts of the body which are results of special chemicals that are secreted by lymphoma cells.